Finding an Associate FAST

By Dr. Addison Killeen

October 25, 2022

The Usual Way

Recently I came to the decision I needed to hire another associate–and fast! When this occurred, I did what everyone else in the world does: I placed an ad on Indeed.  

These days, Indeed can be incredibly hit or miss and in this instance, it got no traction.


The DSN Way

So, I went to DSN and started looking at the best ideas that others have used to help find an associate doctor. A few of the ideas were amazing and…well…different. Interestingly enough, some of them were also way cheaper than trying to pay for advertising on one of these major websites.

One of the best strategies I used was sending a personal letter out to all 1,700 dentists in my state. I purchased the mailing list through the State Department of Health, and the entire mailing list for all dental licenses cost a whopping $25. Not $25 per name: $25 TOTAL!

With my mailing list, I went to my local printing company to see how much it would cost to send out fancy colored letters in an envelope to all 1,700 of these people. Total cost was about $1.00 per piece with 3 pages on the inside in full-glossy-color.  

When drafting this letter, I tried to be as detailed as possible around all the questions that most job-seekers ask: What’s the pay rate? What’s the benefits? What is your new patient flow? By drafting a cover letter (including my personal phone number and email) and a 3 page Frequently Asked Questions section, I was able to share as much information as possible.  

I sent this letter out and have actually gotten an extremely good response. News spread fast and I received around 10 applications in the course of 2 weeks. A few of them being extremely well-qualified and well-respected dentists. I even had a specialist apply for my position because they liked the vision of our practice!


Fishing in Your Ocean

This is an interesting study of trying something new and unique. Consider this the philosophy of the Red Ocean vs. Blue Ocean as popularized in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy,” published in 2004. Simplified, a Red Ocean is where there are many other fisherman trying for the same fish in a crowded ocean; a Blue Ocean is wide open with more fish and less fisherman (i.e. more opportunity with more ease).

When looking for an associate, or handling any issue, try to consider the issue from the blue ocean standpoint. See the ways you could approach the problem from a different perspective, possibly opening up a blue ocean, and having much more success than average.  

P.S. If you’re in the market for an associate, consider the Associate Dentists Manual: a 200+ page resource on how to hire and onboard an associate in the most successful way possible.